With Novavax filing for approval of its vaccine with Health Canada, Montreal is poised to be the first Canadian city to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine, though domestically produced shots won’t be available until next year.
While Canada’s current vaccination rollout of mostly mRNA vaccines is going well, Chakrabarti says that in the future we may need another type of vaccine to help diversify.
Medicago, which is producing Canada’s only “homegrown” vaccine, is in Phase 3 trials and could be producing vaccine in Quebec City by 2023.
“This is a global disease and if there are major outbreaks happening in different parts of the world it will affect us in the end, indirectly and directly,” said Chakrabarti, noting that if Canada is capable of producing vaccines domestically, it can also provide vaccines for other countries.
All of this should put Montreal and Canada back on the vaccine map at a key time when vaccination and disease prevention is increasingly important with the emergence of different viral pathogens, Chakrabarti said.